The Middle-East and its peoples have often been used as the enemy in gaming, but Iranians have found Battlefield 3′s alternate reality particularly insulting.
Battlefield 3 takes place in Iran, where the government has been overthrown by a fanatical movement called the PLR. Themes focus heavily on the countries nuclear power, and sanctions against Iran, which ties in closely with issues surrounding Iran currently.
“Westerners can never understand our situation because they have never seen what I have” said Kabed, an Iranian game designer in an interview with the BBC. He goes on to describe his experience eight years ago when he played a game called ‘Generals’, where he took control of soldier who took part in the invasion of Iraq. This situation became a reality for him six months later.
The Iranian press has condemned BF3, and some gamers are looking to DICE and to EA for an apology.
However, when I spoke to Daniel Matros, DICE’s Battlefield global community manager, he told me that they weren’t interested in making players choose a side or engaging in politics, and that they had actively tried to include differing viewpoints.
There is a point early on in the game where a squad mate asks if they had ever wondered why ‘this part of the world gets f**ked up all the time’, and another responds with ‘I just work here, Dave’. If you are one of those wondering, the answer is simple: resources. The Middle East has been, throughout human history, the host of immeasurable wealth in terms of resources, information and education. It was a prize for the empires that occupied this area, over and over and over again.
What do you think? Are we simply in a new age of Cowboys and Indians? Or should we be focusing on understanding the conflicts that we partake in? Sound off below.
Thanks to Battlefield3Blog.